The Big Trip

Short Version


For those readers lacking either the time or the inclination to read those 30,000+ trip-written words (or so says Microsoft Word), here's a convenient, "short version" of the entire adventure. Chronological format. I'll look into subsequent paragraph format, reverse chronological list format, reverse alphabetized chronological list format, and a pig Latin version. Enjoy!

Cast of Characters



Cousin Chris

Veteran TV news reporter in Seattle, WA

Cousin Kathi

Log home decorator and assistant builder in Provo, UT

Felix the Cat

Feline entity in Raleigh, NC

Fred Hutchinson

Cancer Research Center where Sara works


Beloved former co worker in Columbus, IN


High school classmate in Denver, CO

Maggie and Victor

Feline entities in Churchton, MD

Mitch Miller

Bandleader, former Columbia Records A&R president, and artist most consistently listened to


Canine entity in Columbus, OH

Robert P. Jones

Washington State Fire Academy instructor

Rush Limbaugh

Talk radio host most consistently heard from state to state


Beloved biochemical entity in Seattle, WA

Sara's Sister

Lovingly slammed because we could


Commercial fishing satellite tracking specialist in Churchton, MD

Unnamed Conversationalist

Jerry Springer Show living desk clerk in Salina, KS

Vice President Al Gore

Talk radio topic most consistently talked about from state to state

Yours Truly

AKA Yours Classy, Yours Curious, Yours Delayed, Yours Hot Blooded, Yours Immodest, Yours Not Thinking, Yours Out of Sorts, Yours Uptight, Yours Younger, and Yours Y Chromosome-ed


  • Sea-Tac - Arrive 12:45 a.m., airport fire station
  • Renton - A-1 Auto Movers to apply, Lake Washington, Pizza Hut
  • Wallingford - K-Mart, Sara's apartment, sleep on sofa cushions
  • Lynnwood/Edmonds - Target, mall, ferry to Olympic Peninsula
  • Olympic Peninsula - Sequim, Port Angeles, Hurricane Ridge, Forks, Hoh Rainforest, Dungeness Spit, Kingston
  • Around Seattle - Fred Hutchinson, Lake Union, retired fireboat, pontoon planes, Blue Angel, Seattle Center, Monorail, Westlake Center, Metro station, Pioneer Square, Greenlake, Capitol Hill, I-5 to retrieve ball cap
  • Everett - Boeing factory tour, Target, mall, movie, Black Angus Steakhouse
  • Attractions - Seattle Zoo, Snoqualmie Falls, Pacific Science Museum, Space Needle, Broadway Market, waterfront fire station, fireboat
  • Bothell - Visit Cousin Chri

Day 1

  • Renton, WA - Leave A-1 Auto Movers at 11:15 a.m., Wal-Mart, Billy McHale's Steaks and Ribs
  • North Bend, WA - Mount Baker, fire station, outlet mall east of North Bend, WA - Washington State Fire Academy
  • Clu Elum, WA - Post office, Bull Durham Tobacco billboard
  • Yakima, WA - Target, fire station, old buildings, mall, A&W
  • Oregon Border - Gas, snacks, postcards, dam
  • Pendleton, OR - Travelodge, $49

Day 2

  • Pendleton, OR - K-Mart, Wal-Mart, McDonald's, fire station
  • 45th Parallel - Crossed
  • West of Ontario, OR - Country Kitchen
  • Ontario, OR - Wal-Mart, hardware store, fire station
  • Caldwell, ID - Drive through
  • Boise, ID - Mall, another mall
  • Twin Falls, ID - Days Inn, $40

Day 3

  • Twin Falls, ID - Snake River Canyon, Jack in the Box, mall, Target, drive for miles following smoke, find no fires
  • Pocatello, ID - Fire training facility at airport, airport fire station, riding on wrong Interstate
  • Malad, UT - Gas, snacks, car wash
  • Ogden, UT - Construction accident, fire station, old buildings
  • Centerville, UT - Break glasses, fix using chewing gum- like stuff bought at Target, Wendy's
  • Provo, UT - Spend night at Cousin Kathi's cool, new log-cabin home

Day 4

  • Provo, UT - Fix glasses with handmade splint, photograph more of Kathi's home, roam canyon, look for wildfires, find only base camp, Wal-Mart
  • Nephi, UT - Fire station, Forestry Service office
  • Scipio, UT - Start of shortcut to I-70
  • Salina, UT - End of shortcut to I-70, Denny's, lock keys in car
  • Somewhere in Utah - Oooh-ed and aaaah-ed by rocks and rock formations
  • Thompson, CO - Gas, snacks, fire station
  • Grand Junction, CO - Airport fire station, Wal-Mart, fire station, Sam's, mall, Toys 'R' Us, Bennett's Bar-b-que and Steaks
  • Rifle, CO - Rusty Cannon Motel, $40

Day 5

  • Rifle, CO - Burger King
  • Glenwood Springs, CO - Visitor Center, woman sleeping in truck, fire station, hot springs-powered public pool
  • Eagle, CO - Snacks, follow fire truck to natural gas leak, fire station
  • Vail, CO - Fire station
  • Copper Mountain, CO - Fire station
  • Georgetown, CO - Fire station, railway trestle
  • Eisenhower Tunnel - Fail to be shown facility fire trucks
  • Empire, CO - Fail to find railway tunnel
  • West of Denver, CO - Write in car, watch thunderstorm, call Laurie, small wildfire sighting
  • Denver, CO - Black-Eyed Peas with Laurie and daughter, roam town, write while sitting in car at night next to fire station
  • Byers, CO - Middle of nowhere, Fleabag, $50

 Day 6

  • Byers, CO - Photograph Fleabag
  • Limon, CO - Gas, snacks, post office, railroad museum, fire station, standing room-only McDonald's
  • Goodland, KS - Wal-Mart
  • Western Kansas - Boring as Hell
  • Hays, KS - Mall, Montana Mike's, Wal-Mart, fire station, old buildings, grain silos at dusk
  • Salina, KS - Unnamed hotel, late chat with lesbian, mother-of-four, thrice-divorced, recently raped ex-con

Day 7

  • Salina, KS - Old buildings, cool fire station, McDonald's
  • Kansas Turnpike - Sing Kansas City songs to toll attendants
  • Eastern Kansas - Way more interesting than Western Kansas
  • Kansas City, MO - Toy museum, toy stores, The Plaza, fire station, record store, downtown buildings
  • Boonville, MO - Days Inn, $45

 Day 8

  • Boonville, MO - McDonald's
  • Missouri River - Winery, discover borrowed camera may be broken
  • Warrenton, MO - Outlet mall, toy store, music store
  • St. Louis, MO - Exit to photograph Arch
  • Somewhere in Illinois - Construction, traffic stopped
  • Effingham, IL - Gas, call Kelly
  • Terre Haute, IN - Call Kelly
  • Indianapolis, IN - Stop on shoulder to photograph airport
  • Columbus, IN - Hour with Kelly, Days Inn, $49

Day 9

  • Columbus, IN - Burger King, cool buildings, local AAA office, all fire stations, Bob Evans
  • East of Indianapolis, IN - Meijer megastore
  • Centerville, IN - Gas, snacks, postcards, call car's owner
  • West of Dayton, OH - Meijer, scratch 'n' win cards
  • Columbus, OH - Downtown at dusk
  • Zanesville, OH - Cracker Barrel, laptop open
  • Cambridge, OH - Days Inn, $39

Day 10

  • Cambridge, OH - K-Mart
  • Wheeling, WV - Suspension bridge over Ohio River, one of world's longest
  • Washington, PA - Lost for in rural Pennsylvania for hour, Long John Silver's, gas, car wash
  • Bedford, PA - Ice cream
  • Breezewood, PA - Exit Pennsylvania Turnpike
  • I-270 - Doing 90 into D.C.
  • Largo, MD - Sharon's workplace
  • Alexandria, VA - Deliver car
  • Annapolis, MD - Steak Night at bar, toy-looking store, Ben and Jerrys, follow fire trucks
  • Churchton, MD - Spend night at Sharon's

Day 11

  • Churchton, MD - Morning with Sharon, Maggie, and Victor, Chesapeake Bay, Anne Arundal County
  • Deale, MD - Fire station, marina
  • West Annapolis, MD - K-Mart, fire station, prison
  • Annapolis, MD - Carrol's Creek, waterfront, fireboat, old buildings, water taxi, mall, Barnes and Noble, Tower Records
  • North of Richmond, VA - Cracker Barrel, laptop open
  • Henderson, NC - Gas, snacks
  • Raleigh, NC - Arrive at 11:45 p.m.


  • tanner
  • thinner (somewhat)
  • still wired
  • under stimulated
  • ninety damn rolls of film to develop
  • walking out of 3 out of 4 movies
  • still not much of an appetite
  • ready to do it all over again

Copyright 2000 by Michael J. Legeros


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Copyright 2020 by Michael J. Legeros